Remember a few weeks ago when the yearly "Jaguars for sale" story came out? I discussed that every summer you can count on the NFL writers to re-hash the same story over and over again. I had forgotten about one tradition, Michael Silver's worst-to-first Owners Rankings. Just like last year, he's egregiously unfair to Wayne Weaver, which has me convinced that the Weavers must have ran over Silver's dog at some point. I cannot understand for the life of me where the venom toward the Weavers comes from.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars – Wayne Weaver: It was bad enough when moaned his way into hosting a Super Bowl, citing the need to help to finance renovations to a stadium in which he would later cover up nearly 10,000 seats to give the team a prayer of selling out on Sundays. What truly irks me, however, is Weaver’s stubborn insistence that he’s not trying to sell the franchise – “The team is not for sale,” he said earlier this month, “and I cannot say it any more clearly than that” – when it is common knowledge among his peers that he has discussed such a transaction with at least three prospective buyers. “He’s a sick puppy,” one owner says of Weaver. “He’s totally and completely out for his bottom line, and the league’s best interest is not in his mind at all.” Echoed a second owner: “He’s been actively trying to sell for a year-and-a-half, and he’s totally checked out. He knows it won’t work in Jacksonville.” The only way I see Whine escaping the bottom of this list in the foreseeable future? Sell the team – and I cannot say it any more clearly than that.
What. A. Bunch. Of. Crap.
Shall we start at the top?
1. The team covers 10,000 seats because otherwise it would be in the top five largest stadiums in the league, which even a short-sighted idiot like Michael Silver can agree is too big for the market. We know that Jacksonville has a higher attendance rate by percentage than most other teams in the league.
2. Any owner will sell the team for the right price, and Michael is refusing to tell the difference between selling an interest in the team and selling the whole thing outright.
3. The "Bottom Line" comment is even more absurd. I don't see many owners doing anything that won't improve the bottom line. Jerry Jones is not making his huge new stadium out of charity. The Giants are charging their season ticket holders thousands of dollars just for the right to buy season tickets (PSL's), Owners across the country beg for taxpayer dollars to refurbish their stadiums for little economic benefit. To call one owner out for watching the bottom line without any substantiating evidence other than a blind quote from an "owner" is simply useless.
Worst of all, Silver uses "puts profit back into the franchise". Wayne Weaver spent a boatload of money this offseason. Extended Del Rio, Garrard, Meier, McDaniel, Spicer, bought Florence and Porter through Free Agency, and committed himself to a top ten rookie salary in the drafting of Derrick Harvey. If the goal of reinvesting in the team is to make a competitive product, I don't know that any owner did more to improve his team during the idle months than Waye Weaver.
Silver is one of the reporters who thinks that the Jaguars should be in LA as of yesterday. He probably had a bad time in Jacksonville for the Super Bowl, which is typically where this sort of hate comes from. Jacksonville probably lacked the parties of Miami or New Orleans, and we all know that the most important thing about hosting a Super Bowl is how you fellate the egos of the major media.
This is a hack job, as usual. Whatever the Weavers did to deserve this is beyond me. They never tried to move a team to San Antonio while New Orleans was under water, which should have Tom Benson as the 33rd ranked owner. (Yes, I know there's only 32 teams).
Crap like this gives the Jaguars a bad name for no reason at all. This is the personal problems between Michael Silver and the Weavers getting drawn out in the public eye.
Rubbish, that's what it is.